Denver Broncos fans, the chants for Tim Tebow to play need to stop! The Broncos need a whole lot more than Tim Tebow, a learning, growing young quarterback who has struggled with his mechanics to win football games.
The Monday Night Football opener was a glaring display of the gaping holes all over the field that the Broncos need to patch up in order to compete this season.
The first four preseason games for the Broncos were essentially meaningless. Coaches do very little game planning and really only want to see which players can really play and which players aren't good enough to cut it.
Some fans who were excited by the strides made in the preseason and ignored the deficiencies across the board for the Broncos must feel horribly mislead that the Denver Broncos had a real shot of contending this season.
The Broncos have lots of problems all over the field and if fans believe that just substituting in a new quarterback will fix those numerous issues, they are completely ignorant and delusional.
The brunt of the blame from fans will fall square on the shoulders of Kyle Orton.
Orton's performance Monday Night, in rain-soaked conditions, with "fans" shouting for Tim Tebow to replace him, against a top-tier defense, was pedestrian.
Orton was under immense pressure all game long. Defenders were constantly breathing down his neck as the offensive line struggled to create any kind of a pocket for him the entire game. Orton was sacked five times in the game. A few of those sacks Orton may be blamed for holding onto the ball too long.
Orton didn't handle the pressure very well. He appeared erratic and unsure of himself. The offense seemed to be stopping and starting constantly, and all around it wasn't a great performance.
Orton was asked to pass the ball 46 times. He passed for 304 yards scored a touchdown and tossed an interception on a mix up with Brandon Lloyd.
He can also be faulted for giving the Raiders the momentum to go 65 yards in 1:38 and score the winning touchdown. Orton gave up a costly fumble which appears to slip right out of his hands.
The blunder was followed up with big plays by Darrius Heyward-Bey (17-yard reception) and Darren McFadden (47-yard rush) to set up Jason Campbell for an easy one-yard QB sneak for a touchdown.
Orton didn't have his best game tonight.
But he did keep the Broncos in this game.
His impressive (and lucky) 12-play, 80-yard drive gave the Broncos defense the opportunity to make a stop and give the Broncos one last shot to win the game.
After connecting with Lance Ball on a 9-yard touchdown pass with 3:43 left in the game, Orton never saw the field again.
It remains to be seen whether or not the game would have gone differently if Tebow was in there at quarterback or even Brady Quinn.
The truth is that the porous middle of the Broncos defense was the biggest reason the Broncos lost. Brodrick Bunkley and Kevin Vickerson couldn't get it done. Joe Mays at middle linebacker wasn't making the plays to drop Darren McFadden for a loss. McFadden is one of the best running backs in the league and the Broncos couldn't stop him.
What will happen when the Broncos face Chris Johnson in Week 3? Or Cedric Benson in Week 2?
The Raiders didn't beat the Broncos with the pass. Campbell passed for just 105 yards.
Without a run defense it isn't going to matter who is in at quarterback for the Broncos. At least not on this roster. Would Tebow have gotten out there and passed for 400+ yards like Cam Newton did in Week 1.
It is very unlikely. Even if Tebow matched Orton's 304 yards, I doubt that it would have been enough to overcome the Broncos lack of a run defense.
The offensive line for the Broncos is another story entirely.
They looked overmatched and inexperienced. Their youth across the entire line showed.
Orton did his best to stand in there and complete passes with defenders hurrying him every snap. How would Tebow have handled that kind of pressure. He probably would have tucked it and ran the ball on a lot of downs.
While Tebow brings another set of intangibles to the game when he is in, he isn't going to out run defenders in the NFL. He isn't going to take on Richard Seymour and win that battle. He won't bulldoze Rolando McClain. Tebow's fate after taking on some of the Raiders huge defensive players would probably be similar to many of the Broncos top stars in the game—out with injury.
It is very evident that the Broncos' offensive line needs to come together and grow up as a group very quickly or else Quinn or Tebow might have to come in out of necessity if Orton goes down with an injury after one too many sacks.
The Broncos problems right now don't revolve around the quarterback position.
Let's face it the Broncos were 4-12 last season. After a dismal season like that, that would signal that a serious overhaul at positions all over the team must be addressed.
Without making those changes, trades, selecting draft picks, to improve the team at its core on both sides of the ball, the Broncos will be headed back to the bottom of the NFL no matter who plays quarterback.